Decaf vs. Regular Coffee: My Taste Test Comparison (with Photos)

major dickason dark roast decaf and regular coffee beans side by side

QUESTION: I seem to have problems sleeping well if I have coffee after lunch, which leads me to consider decaf coffee. I am concerned about the loss of flavors – many told me the decaf coffee is not as flavorful as regular ones, even if they are of the same roast. How true is this? – Cindy C. 

NIGEL ONG AT CLEARLY COFFEE REPLIES: What you have heard may be true and not true. This is because how well a decaf coffee tastes may depend on many factors, with some decaf coffee taste much better than others. 

Let’s look at each of the factors below and then compare between actual coffee roasts.

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Cupping Coffee: What I Have Learned From 7 Years of Experience, and How You Can Hold a Coffee Cupping at Home

By Darren Oliver

When you enter the world of coffee for the first time, many things can seem difficult and overwhelming. For me, this type of issue was recognizing the flavor notes in the coffees I tried. For the first few months that I fell in love with specialty coffee, I couldn’t understand how some people could smell the aroma of apples, elderberries, nuts, or chocolate in coffee. 

Eventually, however, I was able to possess this valuable skill for any coffee lover. Perhaps you, too, would like to learn how to distinguish flavor notes in coffee. Maybe you’d like to learn how different types of water affect the taste of coffee (to choose the best one). Maybe you’d like to learn to identify by aroma alone where a particular bean comes from. If you want to learn the ins and outs of the coffee world, you will have to try cupping at some point on your coffee path.

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Tasting Indonesian Sulawesi Toraja Single Origin Coffee (Review, Photos)

by Nigel Ong

Indonesia is one of the world’s major coffee regions, and they are also known to produce excellent gourmet, single-origin coffee. Of these regions, Toraja, on the island of Sulawesi, is widely known for its great coffee. 

What does Sulawesi Toraja coffee taste like? I decided to pick up a bag and try it myself. I will brew it several ways and sample it with popular flavorings such as sugar and milk.

This post is part of a series of posts covering Indonesian coffee. I encourage you to check out our recent posts on Java coffee.

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Indonesian Javanese Coffee Explained & Reviewed (With Photos)

Indonesian Java coffee

by Nigel Ong

Indonesia is known to be one of the major coffee regions. Aside from producing mass-consumption coffee, it produces some gourmet, high-end Arabica beans. Indonesia has many coffee regions, each with its special flavors. 

In this post, I will review Java coffee, one of the major coffee regions. I picked up a bag of single-origin Java coffee and brewed the coffee three ways. I also try it with flavorings and compare it with popular medium blends in the US.

This post is part of a series of posts exploring and reviewing Indonesian coffee, focusing on its major growing regions. 

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What Is Laurina Coffee? (Bourbon Pointu)

QUESTION: Many might know that caffeine is not recommended during pregnancy. So, when the barista behind the bar was asked about decaffeinated options, he replied that he did not have strictly decaffeinated coffee, but could offer a low-caffeinated variety called Laurina. This sparked curiosity. What is this variety and how much caffeine does it have? – Eva U

DARREN OLIVER AT CLEARLY COFFEE REPLIES: No wonder you haven’t heard of Laurina coffee! It’s a relatively unknown variety (although it was discovered over 200 years ago) and it’s only just coming into wider consciousness in the coffee world.

Laurina is a variety that contains much less caffeine than standard coffee. It’s also… incredibly delicious, as evidenced by the fact that it helped Swiss barista Emi Fukahori win the 2018 Brewers World Cup. Laurina is an extremely fascinating variety: so let’s delve into its history, find out what it tastes like, how to brew it, and, most importantly, learn the answer to the question: how much caffeine does it have?

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Indonesian Coffees Explained: I Tried These Regions, Photos, Review

by Nigel Ong

When it comes to coffee, most of us think of Latin American and perhaps African countries. However, Asia is one of the world’s largest coffee producers, with Indonesia being one of the top dogs. 

However, Indonesian coffee does not seem to be as famous compared to, say, Colombian or Ethiopian coffee. This is despite Indonesia producing some of the best coffee in the world.  

In this post, let’s learn more about Indonesian coffee and explore some of its history, regions, and flavors.

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I taste tested Asian White Coffee – review and photos

cup of asian white coffee
A cup of hot white coffee in Singapore.

by Nigel Ong

People love to drink coffee all over the world and everywhere you go they prepare it in different ways. Many societies have adapted coffee to their local taste buds, resulting in all sorts of coffee styles that you can experiment with and try.

Asian White Coffee is one such example. Rich, creamy, and mellow, this coffee is widely enjoyed in Southeast Asia, particularly in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

In this post, I will try to sample a cup of Asian White Coffee and see how it tastes. I’ll also examine how to sample one of this coffee, especially if you live in North America or Europe.

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Starbucks Frappuccino: Bottled version vs. In-store version (with photos)

bottle of frappuccino, store bought cup of frapp

by Nigel Ong

Ask around, and you will easily meet someone who enjoys Frappuccinos. It is ice-cold, slushy, creamy, and full of coffee goodness. No wonder it is one of Starbucks’ best sellers. 

In fact, Starbucks was selling so much of the drink they introduced a Ready-To-Drink (RTD) version in a bottle. The idea here is to allow you to enjoy your Frappuccino anytime. Just walk into your grocery store and pick one from the chilled aisles.

The question here is, how close is the taste between the two? Can the RTD drink even match or get close enough to the hand-made version? I got on a little experiment to find out. 

In this post, I compare the taste of Starbucks’ hand-made Frappuccino to the RTD frappuccino at your local grocery. I’ll also discuss if the RTD drink is suitable for you. 

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Fruit Latte!!?? I Tried Durian and Avocado: My Review with Photos

Durian and avocado fruit latte drinks

by Nigel Ong

Modern Western coffee preparation and styles entered many parts of Asia through coffee shops such as Starbucks, McCafe, and Dunkin. These coffee styles were adopted and later adapted and innovated into something new. 

One of the results of this blending is the Fruit Latte. Sweet and milky, yet comes with the bittersweet flavors of a coffee, the craze spreads like wildfire in Asia, just like Bubble Tea. Fruit Latte has even reached the US, in places such as San Francisco.

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